2008.04.12 07:00 - Why Write

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    Another pretty day in Rieul. I arrived a bit early, and one by one regular visitors dropped in: Sky, Storm, Tara. Toward the end I was left chatting a bit more with Storm when the conversation turned to his trips between Glasgow and Denver — the reason being his fiance living in Denver and he in Glasgow. They embody the joy of Second Life: they first met in SL in a clothes shop . . . and only later, after a while, met for the first time in RL. His fiance, Jobe Nurmi, then joined us for a bit as well. But let’s start at the beginning. Sky brought up her resistance about note taking.

    Pema Pera: Hi Sky!
    Pema Pera: Good seeing you again
    Sky Szimmer: hi there!
    Sky Szimmer: i have been thinking about taking notes. I don’t know why but I have resistance to it. Maybe I don’t quite get it.
    Pema Pera: I think I understand the resistance
    Sky Szimmer: For instance, when I stop for 9 sec. then nothing enters my mind. I don’t know quite what I ought to write
    Pema Pera: You can write “nothing”!
    Sky Szimmer: hi storm!
    Storm Nordwind: Hi both
    Pema Pera: Hi Storm!
    Pema Pera: come join us!
    Storm Nordwind: Thank you. I don’t want to interrupt an important part of your conversation
    Sky Szimmer: not at all
    Pema Pera: that’s fine! We just started talking about note taking, so
    Pema Pera: Sky, I can fully understand that it does not feel so natural
    Pema Pera: to take notes
    Pema Pera: it is wonderful to take a break
    Pema Pera: regularly
    Pema Pera: and the last thing you want to do then is write!
    Sky Szimmer: it just feel a bit forced when I think what should I write
    Pema Pera: So the challenge is to try to do something that really does feel a bit forced
    Pema Pera: and to see how that goes
    Storm Nordwind: Taking notes can feel like regimentation and therefore not free
    Pema Pera: yes, but I like to mention my jazz jam session example:
    Pema Pera: by practicing in a somewhat regimented way
    Pema Pera: you can then learn to later be completely free to jam
    Storm Nordwind: But they are two separate phases of your musical life
    Pema Pera: in any case, let’s try it and talk about it here, and so how it goes — yes Storm
    Pema Pera: and yes, the analogy is not perfect, more a hint as to what can happen
    Pema Pera: and perhaps, even after a while, you really don’t like it — of course, you’re totally free not to do the note keeping
    Pema Pera: but I think it will be interesting to at least try for a while
    Pema Pera: If you’re unhappy doing so just write “I hate taking notes” — that’s a note too!
    Storm Nordwind: But to get the best of it you might feel as though you need the freedom. how constructive does it feel to read a note that says “I hate taking notes!” There is no motivation in reading that!
    Pema Pera: Not clear
    Pema Pera: until we try ;>)
    Pema Pera: and it’s not just one note — it’s a series,
    Pema Pera: things may develop , from boring and vague to something emerging
    Pema Pera: let’s not prejudge the outcome until we try!
    Storm Nordwind: You will not get a series if you hate doing it!
    Pema Pera: depends on the depth of your hate
    Pema Pera: If you just don’t like it but are willing to give it a try, to explore, well . . . ;>)
    Pema Pera: if in our life we would have only gotten what we think we would have liked, our lives would be rather shallow — I, for one, have often stumbled upon something that I never would have known to ask for or to expect.
    Storm Nordwind: The best things I have stumbled upon in my life are when I have felt, at least, that I was ‘off the leash”
    Pema Pera: Interesting, yes, if I reflect than I can see that feeling being there at some point — but not always right at the beginning
    Storm Nordwind: First one needs to learn how to walk before one can discover the world outside.
    Pema Pera: and learning to walk can be painful at times
    Storm Nordwind: But once one can walk, it is pointless relearning how to do it :)
    Pema Pera: yes
    Tara Farmer: i am in the attic
    Tara Farmer: how weird
    Pema Pera: sorry, Tara!
    Sky Szimmer: i thought i saw you dangling
    Tara Farmer: he he

    Tara had dropped by, and like Zenon yesterday evening, got stuck in the attic of the tea house after I had offered here at tp. The tea house doesn’t seem to be optimally suited for tps by seated tea drinkers ;>). Storm went out, and managed to get her down to the ground.

    Pema Pera: I tp-ed Tara
    Tara Farmer: sheesh pema
    Pema Pera: It seems that when I tp someone while sitting here, they wind up in the attic!
    Tara Farmer: you put me falling into space
    Pema Pera: just a moment!
    Pema Pera: haha!
    Tara Farmer: in the middle of a crooked house
    Pema Pera: always a new trick hahahaha
    Tara Farmer: ha ha
    Storm Nordwind: Now we can walk inside
    Pema Pera: lol
    Tara Farmer: thanks you storm/gassho
    Pema Pera: Thanks, Storm!
    Storm Nordwind: Namaste
    Tara Farmer: crap
    Pema Pera: I will ask Dakini to add a trap door in the attic
    Pema Pera: welcome, Tara!
    Pema Pera: sorry about that
    Tara Farmer: hi guys
    Tara Farmer: apparently my “being” is a series of funny mishaps
    Pema Pera: yeah, hadn’t realized that you have had three mishaps, all because of my doing . . . .
    Tara Farmer: pema, i love it!
    Pema Pera: . . . and all unintentionally (he said)
    Tara Farmer: he he
    Tara Farmer: funny phd
    Tara Farmer: so anyway, whats ahappening?
    Pema Pera: we’re talking about my suggestion to write something, a few words, every 15 minutes when we do the9-sec practice
    Pema Pera: Sky didn’t like writing
    Tara Farmer: sky i am in agreement
    Tara Farmer: but i had done it
    Pema Pera: great!
    Pema Pera: I said I understand but why not try for a while to see what happens
    Pema Pera: Storm questioned the wisdom of trying
    Tara Farmer: of course my sheets are in my car but…
    Tara Farmer: storm, how come?
    Pema Pera: so we discussed whether it is a good idea to try what you don’t seem to like at first
    Tara Farmer: ahh…. i see
    Tara Farmer: “Do or don not” there is no “try”
    Storm Nordwind: I think that is a misleading synopsis of what I said
    Pema Pera: sorry, please correct!
    Tara Farmer: well storm, how would you put it?
    Storm Nordwind: To do what is recommending has a time and a place…
    Storm Nordwind: It depends on who says it and on one’s motivation
    Storm Nordwind: If an esteemed teacher asked me to do something i would do it
    Storm Nordwind: But we are peers
    Storm Nordwind: And this is an experiment
    Storm Nordwind: And we create our own motivation
    Tara Farmer: i see, so you are just being difficult?
    Tara Farmer: :)
    Tara Farmer: totally kidding
    Pema Pera is having a great time watching the guests, new and old, interact, feeling like a bartender, drying the glasses, watching, and smiling
    Storm Nordwind: So if something does not feel right, then one will tend not to do it
    Storm Nordwind: I am simply being
    Tara Farmer: yes i gather that
    Tara Farmer: i agree that writing has fallen to the side, but i def find myself stopping and thinking more
    Tara Farmer: about reality and being and what i am doing
    Tara Farmer: getting centered
    Storm Nordwind: If the process is an aid to that, it may be good. It depends what you want as an eventual outcome
    Storm Nordwind: Or perhaps the journey itself is the goal
    Tara Farmer: i just want to try to stay on the path
    Tara Farmer: and that is what is helping me do, so it is good
    Pema Pera: Thanks for the clarification, Storm! And I certainly wouldn’t want to push it. It is more that I am curious to see what happens + I do think that at least some of those who don’t like to do it may well get some benefit from at least trying for a while — if nothing else, a new type of experience
    Pema Pera: I’m a bit hesitant to give an explanation of why, Storm
    Pema Pera: but I can try
    Pema Pera: (problem is that explanations get only part of it, so
    Pema Pera: they clarify and yet limit)
    Pema Pera: here goes: we are poking holes in our habitually limited view of the world
    Pema Pera: with those 9-sec tricks
    Pema Pera: and using a pen we may be able to poke a bigger hole
    Pema Pera: (^_^)
    Tara Farmer: storm are you opposed to the structure writing brings it?
    Storm Nordwind: To say opposed would be to imply that I saw a uniform optimum process for all people. That would be silly for me to do that

    When Sky asked about the reason behind the writing part of our exploration, Storm reported on his own experiences.

    Sky Szimmer: Pema, are we supposed to gleam from our notes a nature of reality? Or is it that writing causes us to stay with the exercise more
    Sky Szimmer: so that there is more of a continuum
    Sky Szimmer: ?
    Pema Pera: not one particular reason or goal, rather
    Pema Pera: a suggestion to make the exploration deeper
    Sky Szimmer: Is the note taking poking holes or is it just stopping?
    Sky Szimmer: So if it is just stopping, then the more we do it the more holes there will be : )
    Storm Nordwind: That’s a lovely idea Sky :)
    Sky Szimmer: I guess it is really my resistance. I just don’t see how note taking is going to help
    Storm Nordwind: I see quite a difference between the stopping and the notetaking
    Pema Pera: yes, the more holes the better, and the bigger holes the better — as a first approximation at least
    Storm Nordwind: Sky, I will share with you my own experience in the hope it may help. Please ignore if it is not relevant! :)
    Storm Nordwind: I have found that the 9 second sturcture - the 1% time tax - is not personally helpful. On the other hand I still do stop from time to time.
    Storm Nordwind: And the results can be useful
    Storm Nordwind: On the other hand the regimentation of the 9 in 15 does not work for me
    Storm Nordwind: And yet I still manage to put more than 30 such thoughts on my blog
    Storm Nordwind: So there has been a value to me in stopping and only very occasionally recording.
    Storm Nordwind: What has been more value to me is to stop when I am in front of a keyboard
    Storm Nordwind: which is sporadic
    Storm Nordwind: and then record something
    Storm Nordwind: or not
    Storm Nordwind: as the feeling come
    Storm Nordwind: which is why in two weeks there are only 30 such thoughts
    Storm Nordwind: But this is just me
    Storm Nordwind: I am not a reflector in learning style
    Storm Nordwind: I am just a doer. It works that way for me but maybe not for you
    Storm Nordwind: If Pema wants the structure and the regularity then i may be disappointing him!
    Storm Nordwind: If he wants insights when people do stop, however infrequently or orregualarly then he has succeeded
    Sky Szimmer: thanks for that storm. I guess I am just trying to figure out if the writing just ensures regularity or if the writing actually allows us to look back and see a pattern or some other
    Sky Szimmer: pema?
    Pema Pera: First, Storm,
    Pema Pera: I do not want anything, so it is impossible to disappoint me
    Pema Pera: and I really mean that — not meant to be glib
    Pema Pera: What I am trying to do here is to follow what seems most natural, Playing as Being
    Pema Pera: and to share that with others
    Pema Pera: that much is very clear to me
    Pema Pera: anything and everything else is up for discussion
    Pema Pera: including the 9-sec rule and the note taking
    Pema Pera: if some do it and some don’t, that is perfectly fine
    Pema Pera: and even so, we can still talk about playing as Being and share what we find
    Pema Pera: the only point I was trying to make is one of caution:
    Pema Pera: to not prematurely conclude that something “doesn’t feel right”
    Pema Pera: our intuition may or may not be right
    Pema Pera: and it may be worth trying something for a while
    Storm Nordwind: To overcome the “doesn’t feel right”, I’ve found some people need tangible motivation. For example…
    Storm Nordwind: I have spent the last 30 years fine tuning my intuition. i call it that whereas others would use the owrd clairvoyance. The label is unimportant…
    Storm Nordwind: So I would be personally reluctant to put aside a finely honed skill
    Storm Nordwind: Now I do not apply that to others in all circumstances. We are a wonderfully diverse bunch!
    Pema Pera: yes, that’s what I meant with me as bartender ;>)
    Pema Pera: it’s wonderful

    This I found all very helpful to clarify my own understanding of what we are trying to do here. It led me to re-summarize my intentions.

    Pema Pera: So I guess I’m trying to do at least two things — and thanks very much for helping me to clarify that, should go into FAQs I guess –
    Pema Pera: 1) provide fertile soil for a community to grow of people interested in play as Being
    Pema Pera: 2) provide one or more — soon more — ways to get your toes into the water ; e.g. 9-sec practice
    Storm Nordwind: I think that would be a great way forward Pema.
    Sky Szimmer: Ok. Thanks for the clarification. Will try/do.
    Pema Pera: So I’m equally happy talking with those who do and do not do the 9-sec practice
    Pema Pera: BUT
    Pema Pera: I would be disappointed if most people wouldn’t even want to try
    Pema Pera: So in Storm’s case I am grateful that he tried
    Pema Pera: and I respect his conclusions
    Sky Szimmer: wouldn’t want to dissapoint you, my friend. : )
    Pema Pera: ;)
    Sky Szimmer: so you didnt answer my question.
    Sky Szimmer: is it both? looking at the words or is it continuity
    Sky Szimmer: you are after
    Sky Szimmer: rather we are after
    Pema Pera: many many things, not just one or two
    Pema Pera: the main point of what I’m trying to do is to go beyong goals
    Pema Pera: not reaching
    Sky Szimmer: i understand that.
    Pema Pera: not grasping not wanting to understand
    Pema Pera: and the practices that I recommend hopefully reflect that
    Pema Pera: of course, in practice, there are reasons for doing something
    Pema Pera: so I can share with you some of the motivations that I can construct
    Pema Pera: but to be completely honest
    Pema Pera: those are afterthoughts
    Pema Pera: and may not be helpful
    Sky Szimmer: As usual,, hanging out with you causes more grasping for reality
    Pema Pera: haha!
    Storm Nordwind smiles
    Pema Pera: Let me try to sketch:’
    Pema Pera: so I try to let Being Be
    Pema Pera: and then I get a sudden intuition:
    Pema Pera: 9-sec rule! writing!
    Pema Pera: Now where does that come from?
    Pema Pera: I don’t know
    Pema Pera: but it seems genuine and I have learned to trust those insights
    Pema Pera: so I reflect on it
    Pema Pera: and then I can see all kinds of benefits and reasons to do it
    Pema Pera: but quite possibly different for different people
    Pema Pera: so if I were to answer your questions of why? I would probably limit you and short change you . . . .
    Sky Szimmer: ok. the sketch helps.
    Pema Pera: . . . . much as I understand and appreciate your wish to know where you are standing
    Pema Pera: point is . . . you are not standing because you are not you (not the you you think you are)

    When we got up, Fox Sky had her back against the fire under the tea kettle, encountering a bit of trouble to turn around, but Monk Storm found a solution: he and I circled around instead.

    Pema Pera: Well, I need to get going soon
    Pema Pera: Thank you both SO MUCH for helping all of us to gain more clarity here
    Sky Szimmer: me too. thanks everyone! c u soon!
    Storm Nordwind: Bye Sky. Good to see you
    Sky Szimmer: i want to face you guys but don’t know how
    Storm Nordwind: Just hit the right arrow key for a while!
    Sky Szimmer: my room turns instead
    Pema Pera: just warming your back, hey?
    Storm Nordwind: I have another solution
    Storm Nordwind: Mountain and Mohammed!
    Pema Pera: (^^)
    Storm Nordwind: Namaste
    Sky Szimmer: thanks!!!!!
    Sky Szimmer: bye
    Storm Nordwind: You are very welcome
    Storm Nordwind: bye
    Pema Pera: bye Sky!

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